Mexico’s $10bn lawsuit against US gun makers dismissed by judge | News

Mexico estimates that 2.2% of the nearly 40 million firearms produced annually in the United States are smuggled across its border.

A US judge has dismisses Mexico’s $10 billion lawsuit sought to hold U.S. gun manufacturers accountable for facilitating the flood of weapons that were smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border for drug cartels.

In the August 2021 complaintMexico estimates that 2.2% of the nearly 40 million firearms produced annually in the United States are smuggled into Mexico, including 597,000 guns manufactured by the defendants named in the lawsuit.

Mexico says that in 2019 alone, at least 17,000 homicides were linked to weapons trafficked from the United States.

“Although the court has considerable sympathy for the Mexican people, and not for those who hand over guns to Mexican criminal organizations, it is obligated to follow the law,” said Chief Justice F. Dennis Saylor said in a 44-page decision published in federal court in Boston on Friday.

Saylor said federal law “definitively” prevents lawsuits aimed at holding gun manufacturers accountable when people use guns for their intended purpose. He said the law has some narrow exceptions, but none of them apply.

The decision is a win for gun makers Smith & Wesson Brands, Sturm, Ruger & Co, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Inc, Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC, Glock Inc. use.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said it would appeal the decision “and continues to emphasize that gun sales are responsible, transparent and accountable, and that the negligent way in which firearms are sold in the United States has facilitated the sale of firearms.” sue criminals to access them”.

“This case by the Mexican government has received worldwide recognition and is seen as a turning point in the discussion around the gun industry’s responsibility for the violent experience in Mexico and the region,” he said. Ministry said.

Protect gun manufacturers from lawsuits

Mexico is seeking at least $10 billion in damages, but legal experts see the lawsuit as a long shot.

The Mexican government has argued that companies that know their practices contribute to trade guns into Mexico and facilitate it. Mexico wants compensation for the devastation that guns have caused its people.

An attorney for Smith & Wesson declined to comment. Sturm’s attorney Ruger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mexico says gun trafficking is a major factor in making it third worldwide in terms of gun deaths each year. It was also claimed to suffer a variety of other harms, including a decline in investment and economic activity and the need to spend more on law enforcement and public safety.

But the judge said Mexico could not pass a provision in US law – the Lawful Trade in Firearms Protection Act – that protects gun manufacturers from lawsuits over “criminal-only harm”. or unlawful use of weapons products… by others when the product performs as designed and intended”.

Mexico argues that U.S. protection laws do not apply when an injury occurs outside of the United States.

Saylor disagreed.

“Mexico is seeking to hold the defendants accountable for activities that occurred in the United States and resulted only in damages in Mexico,” he wrote. “Therefore, this case represents a valid domestic application of the PLCAA and the presumption against extraterritoriality does not apply.”

Gun sales are strictly restricted in Mexico and controlled by the Department of Defense. However, thousands of guns are smuggled into Mexico each year by the country’s powerful drug cartels.


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